Ramallah – The East Jerusalem Hospital Network (EJHN), which includes Makassed Islamic Charitable Society Hospital, Augusta Victoria Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, St. John Eye Hospital, Palestine Red Crescent Society Hospital and Princess Basma Rehabilitation Centre, held a fundraising charity dinner at the Millennium Hotel in Ramallah, under the patronage of President Mahmoud Abbas, in the context of its project to support poor, marginalized and uninsured patients in East Jerusalem,. The ceremony was attended by Dr. Majdi Khalidi, diplomatic advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Governor of Jerusalem Mr. Adnan Husseini, the Minister of Health Dr. Jawad Awwad, the Minister of Finance Mr. Shukri Bishara, the EU Representative Mr. Ralph Tarraf, the UNDP Representative Mr. Geoffrey Prewitt and the Jordanian Ambassador, as well as a number of officials, dignitaries, and highly regarded personalities.
It was announced by the organizers that more than a quarter of a million dollars were raised by contributing sponsors and donors, and further funds were collected during the dinner’s auction, in which a number of paintings and works of art by some of the most prominent Palestinian artists were sold, worth US$35,000.
In a speech on behalf of President Abbas, Dr. Khalidi conveyed the President’s greetings and his best wishes for the success of this exceptional Charity Dinner, hoping that “it will succeed in supporting the steadfastness of our people and its noble institutions in Jerusalem, and will contribute to the preservation of Palestinian existence and identity, and the conservation of the Palestinian people’s roots in their homeland Palestine and in its capital Jerusalem”. He added that “Our people in Jerusalem have proved, through their unity, steadfastness and peaceful resistance, their ability to remain resolute and to protect their Christian and Muslim holy places, thus making it everybody’s duty to assist them”.
Khalidi also stressed the special importance that President Abbas attaches to the occupied city of Jerusalem and its institutions for being at the heart of our national struggle, noting how vital it is “to support the steadfastness of our people in the holy city in the face of Israeli attempts to change the features and character of Palestinian Jerusalem”. He then went on to praise the EJHN, the establishment of which was supported by Palestinian Martyr Faisal Husseini, the work it has been doing, and the faithful men and women of Jerusalem.
In turn, Mr. Abdul Qadir Husseini, head of EJHN, confirmed that thanks to the support of the UNDP, and the governments of Sweden, Norway and Austria, the EJHN project was able to alleviated the financial burden of 990 patients, mostly children and the elderly, during the past year. He noted that “it is our hope to ensure the sustainability of this project by making (the recently established fundraising) unit a permanent core unit of the EJHN and to turn such dinners into a regular and periodic event.”
Husseini added: “We hope that the current campaign will be able to reduce the financial burden of treatment costs for 1000 patients at a rate of 1000 dollars per patient within the target group until the end of this year”.. He went on to appeal to those present at the dinner, in addition to all national, Arab and international institutions, urging them to consider this event only as the beginning of the journey in a relentless pursuit of further support for this campaign until it achieves its goal.”
The dinner also comprised two musical interludes by Palestinian singer Noura Abu Madi, while two films about EJHN and its project in support of the poor, marginalized and uninsured patients in Jerusalem, were screened.
At the end of the charity dinner, a list of sponsors and contributors to the project was announced. It included: The office of President Mahmoud Abbas; the diamond sponsors: Abdul Mohsin Qattan, Omar Qattan, Galia Qattan, Munir Kaloti, the Coca-Cola National Beverage Company, the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC), and Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC); the gold sponsors: Birzeit Pharmaceutical Company, Bank of Palestine, and Jerusalem Cigarette Company; the Silver Sponsors: Wataniya Mobile, Intermed Pal, Dr. Nabil Kaddoumi, and the donation in memory of the late Dr. Haidar Rafiq Husseini; in addition to the sponsorship of the National Insurance Company, the Millennium Hotel Ramallah, the Commercial Bank of Jordan, and a donation in memory of the late Youssef Ibrahim Sayed Ahmed.
The dinner also received media sponsorship from the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and Ajyal Media Network.
The Charity Dinner was emceed by Mohammed Al Rajoub and May Mustafa Al Bakri..